So, after wistfully mentioning baking brioche in my last post about the knit stitch, I decided, yes. Let’s bake brioche.
I’ve always been off-put by the number of eggs and quantity of butter needed for what ends up being a somewhat unremarkable bread, but I gave it a go. I worked from the recipe in Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, which means that I ended up with about 3x the bread that I wanted to bake, but the rest got divided up and put into the freezer to be baked another day.
Yum, yum, yum.
Brioche (the bread kind)
1 1/2 c. warm (110F) water
1 1/2 T. yeast
1 1/2 T. kosher salt
1 1/2 c. (3 sticks) unsalted sweet cream butter, melted
8 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 c. honey
7 1/2 c. all-purpose unbleached flour, plus some for dusting
1 T butter for greasing
1 T water
2 T sanding sugar
In the bowl of a large stand mixer, combine water, yeast, salt, melted butter, eggs and honey, and mix on medium until combined. Add flour to mixture gradually, switching to dough hook of mixer when dough begins to form. Mix thoroughly, 2-3 minutes on medium (there may still be some lumps). Dough will be loose and sticky, but will firm up upon chilling.
Let dough rise in a warm still place ~2 hours, until it has doubled in volume and collapsed. Punch the dough down, and place in the refrigerator to chill thoroughly.
Once chilled, dough is ready to work. Butter/grease the cups of a muffin tin. Dust the surface of the brioche dough with flour, and with floured hands pull off a rounded tablespoon of dough and roll it into a smooth ball. Repeat two more times, and place the three small balls in one cup of the muffin tin. Repeat for the remaining cups. Place the tray in a warm still place to rise (I like the inside of the oven with the light on), for 60-80 minutes.
The remaining dough can rest in the fridge for up to 5 days. To freeze, divide up the remaining dough into 2-3 large balls, wrap individually in plastic wrap, and place within a freezer bag or other airtight container.
Just before baking, set the oven to 350F. Combine the remaining egg and water, and beat until just frothy. With a pastry brush, coat the tops of the risen brioches with the egg wash, then sprinkle with sanding sugar (granulated sugar also works). Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until golden brown.
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